Nicola Johnson

Nicola Johnson

BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy

Independent Occupational Therapist and Case Manager

Profile

I am a highly experienced occupational therapist with a varied career in adult physical disability, housing, social care and medico-legal practice. I have worked in independent practice since 2013 and have over 16 years’ clinical occupational therapy experience.

As a rehabilitation case manager, I have a diverse caseload of clients with a range of injuries, for whom I design and implement coordinated and timely packages of rehabilitation in order to maximise recovery and help them return to their pre-injury occupations. I have a creative and flexible approach with the client’s needs being at the centre of what I aim to do, whilst ensuring realistic goals and clear expectations for rehabilitation.

I am skilled in carrying out thorough assessments and understanding the client’s needs and impairments, whether this is over the telephone or face to face in the client’s home or workplace. I adapt my approach to work with clients from a variety of social and cultural backgrounds, ranging from younger adults, adults of working age and retired individuals.

Clinical skills/experience

  • More than sixteen years' experience of assessment and clinical treatment for adults with a full range of physical health conditions and associated psychological needs.
  • Client conditions have included spinal injury, brain injury, amputees. Clients with poly trauma, multiple fractures, chronic pain, back conditions, degenerative joints, hand injuries, upper limb injuries, scarring and visual impairments.
  • Special interest in visual impairment and assistive technology for individuals with sight loss.
  • Clients have been from a diverse range of backgrounds, including professional, administrative, skilled and unskilled manual workers, and have included both employees and self-employed clients.
  • Interventions have included managing and progressing physical rehabilitation, pain management, education, accessing psychological support, graded return to work plans, worksite assessments, sourcing specialist equipment and assistive aids, and cosmetic camouflage.
  • Creative and flexible thinking to problem-solve situations.
  • Focus upon excellent communication between parties, keeping my clients informed throughout and involving them in decisions when appropriate.
  • Skilled in producing thorough but easy to read reports.
  • Excellent knowledge of litigation processes due to working as an expert witness since 2013.
  • Experienced in case management and rehabilitation within the insurance and litigation framework, particular experience of working under joint instruction.
  • Working knowledge and understanding of the Rehabilitation Code.
  • Expert knowledge and skills in restoring a client’s independence in daily living activities including personal care, domestic tasks, transport, community social / recreational and vocational activities.
  • Significant experience of treating clients with complex social and psychological needs, and of varied educational backgrounds. Experienced in working with clients from diverse ethnic/cultural backgrounds, including those with limited or no English; experienced in working with a translator when needed.
  • Work closely with doctors, general medical practitioners, client case managers, health professionals (nursing/physiotherapy/ speech therapy/dieticians), social workers, counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists and employers.
  • Ensuring commitment to continuing professional development by attending conferences training days, workshops seminars and online study when required.

Managerial skills/experience

  • Supervised a significant number of occupational therapists within NHS settings, both qualified and at student level, to ensure quality and high standards were practised.
  • Responsible for providing regular supervision and overseeing the probationary period for newly qualified OTs ensuring competencies met.
  • Co-ordinated a team of occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists and dietitians as part of the MND service for West Yorkshire.
  • Participation in peer reviews with colleagues in Independence Works.
  • Ongoing clinical supervision from a senior member of the IW team.

Career summary:

September 2019 - present
Rehabilitation Case Manager, Independence Works Ltd
Independently working as part of the IW panel, taking referrals for rehabilitation for a varied caseload of clients with a range of injuries, for whom I design and implement coordinated and timely packages of rehabilitation in order to maximise recovery and return to their pre-injury occupations.

June 2016 - present
Independent Occupational Therapist
Responsible for delivering high quality OT intervention. Undertaking housing assessments for a local housing association and delivering bespoke training to social care colleagues on behalf of a local council.

2013 - present
Expert Witness, Jacqueline Webb & Co
Preparation of complex and thorough reports to be used in litigation, focusing upon costing care for the claimants immediate and future needs, and identifying and costing for specific rehabilitation needs.

2010 – 2016
Specialist Occupational Therapist
Working for a large social housing provider in West Yorkshire

2007 - 2010
Specialist Occupational Therapist
Long Term Neurological Conditions Team, Pinderfields Hospital, Wakefield

2007
Occupational Therapist, Split Post
Community Long Term Conditions (largely neurological caseload) and Cognitive Rehabilitation Service, Barnsley Primary Care Trust

2004 - 2007
Basic Grade Rotational Posts

Qualifications:

  • BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy 2004, University of Teesside

Continuing professional development, including:

  • Attendance at regular training events, conferences, workshops and peer meetings
  • Legal training for Case Mangers - APIL, London November 2019
  • The OT Show, Birmingham NEC - presented at the 2018 OT Show on the role of OTs in social care assessments
  • OTAC – Occupational Therapy Adaptation Conference 2020
  • Court Room Skills Training
  • Online RNIB modules

Registrations and memberships:

  • Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
  • Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT)
  • Case Management Society UK (CMSUK)
  • Royal College of Occupational Therapists Specialist Section – Independent Practice